WHEN the dust had settled around Dumfries last weekend it was the challengers, Team Wilson, that took the prize of a trip to Canada in April to represent Ireland in the World Senior Curling Championships, leaving the current World Champions, Team Kenny, face down in the dirt.
Peter Wilson, PJ Wilson, Neil Fyfe and Tom Roche were the best team during the play-offs and had their trip across the pond sown up by game four in a best of five challenge.
Most of those who had travelled down to Dumfries to watch were hoping that this would go to a fifth and deciding game on the Sunday afternoon and when Johnjo’s team engineered a big four in the sixth end of game four to go two up it seemed that was what would happen. But slack shots under pressure from the defending champions and accurate ones from their opposition saw the Wilson rink score a two to level in the seventh and steal a three to win in the last end.
Congratulations to the two Peters, Neil and Tom, they will do a fine job in Fredericton and everyone in the ICA will be cheering them on.
When you think about it, history was definitely on their side last weekend as skip Peter Wilson has taken down a world champion before. Thirty-two years ago Peter challenged and beat the 1980 World Junior Champion Andrew McQuistin at Stranraer Ice Rink to qualify for the Scottish Junior Championships which he also won. He and his rink then went on to win the World Junior title for Scotland in Megeve, France in 1981.
Fiercely and uncompromisingly competitive, he will now be very, very determined to make sure that the result is the same this time round. The world of senior curling has been warned – Peter the Great is on his way……
But let’s not forget our current World Senior Champions – Johnjo Kenny, Bill Gray, David Whyte, Tony Tierney and David Hume.
They have done us proud and put Irish curling on the map. And perhaps what they achieved in Taarnby last year may never be repeated. Those of us who were lucky enough to be there will never forget it as long as we are fit to throw a curling stone.
They have also been great ambassadors for Irish curling and conducted themselves with great dignity in defeat – painful though it was.
They just never hit the purple patch of form that made them such a force last April. Back then there was nothing to lose, every win was a bonus and the great shots flowed from their fingertips. But, this time the enormity of the task – defending the title in Canada – and how much they wanted it – seemed to inhibit them.
All other amateur psychologists out there will have a different theory!
But although bitterly disappointed to lose out on the holy grail of a world championships in Canada there has never been any tantrums or tirades if things don’t go to plan.
That, as much as anything, won them a world title.